10 Best Anemometers Reviews & Ratings
When we think of anemometers, we envision a gadget that only scientists and professionals would use, and not something for the common man. However, the reality is that the common man has as much to gain from owning an anemometer as much as the professional as they can help with activities outdoors and on construction sites.
Our Top 3 Picks
But what is an anemometer? This is a wind speed meter that measures the air velocity, that is the speed of air, and they can be basic cheap handheld units or portable weather stations that calculate more than wind speed. Some fully fledged anemometers can provide hyperlocal weather forecasts to find out if the weather is on your side for your outdoor activities.
Stick around for our buying guide and recommendations, but first, here are fields where an anemometer could be used.
✓ For firefighters – When dealing with wildfires, the wind direction and velocity is a matter of life and death. The reason for this is because wildfire speed and direction changes with a change in wind velocity and direction. Moreover, by getting the temperature and humidity level in the area, they can tell how fast the nearby tinder will catch fire. With this information, they can draft plans to stay safe, and be more effective and extinguish the flames more quickly.
✓ For HVAC specialists – HVAC professionals can measure how fast air from the HVAC is flowing and tell if it is faulty.
✓ Other outdoor activities – Hikers and backpackers will benefit from owning an anemometer as they get instant hyperlocal forecasts that tell them when it is time to seek shelter. Sailors, plane enthusiasts, hunters, sport shooters, etc., will do well with hyperlocal weather information.
10 Best Anemometers
1. HOLDPEAK 866B
The unit is battery powered, and thus you need not worry about running out of power. Moreover, it is has a backlight and thus reading the recordings is more comfortable. It also incorporates a battery saver mode in that the backlight shuts down after a period of inactivity. Moreover, the unit has a screw port where you can attach a lanyard for safety. This unit is accurate down to 0.1 dgts, and you can rely on the readings. It measures wind speeds between 0-30m/s, but you can use it for winds up to 69mph. You will also appreciate the well-labeled buttons and the low battery indicator. However, our best features were the additional features, and that it is multi-functional.
Multi-functional – Other than being able to read wind chill, speed, and temperature, this unit can read wind speed in 5 units: mph, m/s. Km/h, ft/min, knots.
Extra Features – The Holdpeak 866B allows you to record and recall the current function, max, min, and average and features a built-in temperature regulator to adjust the temperature.
Weight: 7.6 ounces
Accuracy: 0.1 dgts
Batteries: 2 * 1.5V AAA batteries
Who is it for?
The Holdpeak 866B is somewhat the end all and be all of anemometers. We recommend it for hikers, backpackers, and hunters, owing to the wind chill function, though it should be amongst everyone’s top picks.
It is affordable, and you get top value for your money
Provides accurate readings in all weather conditions
Low battery indicator leaving no room for surprises
The batteries on the unit do not last
2. Ambient Weather WM-2
It is also compact and rugged for durability. You can use this apparatus to measure the wind speed, wind chill, temperature and it also provides comfort level when in temp mode, and a Beaufort wind scale. Moreover, it includes an average wind mode and a battery indicator for when it is low.
The unit has three buttons that one uses to toggle between the various settings. The ’set’ button is the most important as it allows you to power on/off the unit, by pressing and holding it for 3 seconds. It also allows you to toggle between temperature and speed by pressing once, and you can turn on the backlight by pressing and holding it for 2 seconds. Should you press and hold it for 4 seconds, it clears all data, and pressing it for 6 seconds, takes you to the settings. Our best features though were the ‘+’ and hold buttons.
Hold – This button allows you to record wind speeds when you are using the gadget in areas where you cannot see the display.
+ button – This will enable you to toggle through the various settings when measuring a specific weather element. When reading temperature, pressing the ‘+’ lets you read the peak, average, and normal temperature.
Measures winds between 0.4 and 67mph
Weight: 2.4 ounces
Includes a lithium battery
Who is it for?
This is an excellent anemometer for HVAC experts, storm chasers, pilots, and educational research.
Low price point
Provides accurate measurements
It is lightweight
Doesn’t provide a warranty
3. ProsterDigital LCD
To manually power on the unit, you press and hold the mode button for a few seconds. This is the same button that you will use to toggle between temperature and wind speed reading. The gadget also incorporates a backlight when you have to take readings in dark areas. You will also appreciate the wind chill function, and the highly sensitive pressure sensor as it will keep you safe from elements.
For durability, itfeatures a protective rubber cover but one that happens to be its undoing. You can display the temperature in C/F, and you can read the wind speed in m/s, ft/min, knots, km/hr, or m/ph. Moreover, you can get current, max and average speed readings. Our top features though were the data hold function and auto/manual power off.
Auto/manual power off – Most anemometers either have a manual power off, or auto power off, but rarely do you get both on the same unit. To save the battery, we recommend the auto mode, but to avoid the pain of having to power on the gadget, we recommend the manual power off.
Data hold – When working in a dark space, or a precarious situation (windsurfing), it is implausible for you to take the readings. The data hold function allows you to record the readings for comparison or archiving.
Product features: 3.9 pounds
Speed range: 0-30m/s
Who is it for?
Seeing as it is lightweight, and designed to take bumps, we recommend it for outdoor activities.
It is affordable
It includes a lanyard to protect the unit in case of a fall
Easy to operate
The only shortcoming is the battery compartment as it is tricky to work loose
4. Proster MS6252A
Another fascinating aspect of this unit is that it incorporates a carrying bag for portability. Moreover, the device has rubber covers that protect it from bumps and provide better grip. Weighing 10.5 ounces, it is one of the bulky anemometers, but that isn’t a concern. The low battery indicator saves you the anguish of having the unit shutting down on you. Our best features though were the buttons and the test unit button.
Buttons – Unlike our previous top two picks, that feature at most three buttons, the MS625A has a button for every function. It is, therefore, easier to operate, unlike the former picks where you have to press the same button for different purposes. It has a power button, a button to record the max and min readings, a toggle button to move from temp to speed, and a data hold button for when you are working in low light areas.
Test unit button – This button allows you to test the unit and tell whether it is functioning appropriately, to keep it from breaking down on you when outdoors.
Wind speed range: 0-30m/s
Weight: 10.5 ounces
Dimensions: 7.6 * 4.4 * 2.4- inches
Who is it for?
We recommend this gadget for professionals, e.g., storm chasers and HVAC professionals, given the accuracy and quality.
It is accurate to a fault when reading wind speeds
Includes a backlight and thus taking the readings is a breeze
It is a sturdy unit and one that can withstand abuse
It is easy to use
Lacks a threaded base where you can screw a lanyard to keep the tool from falling
5. Kestrel 3000
However, the Kestrel packs all these jobs and others into one portable unit. Its readings are accurate and even contains a temperature corrected humidity chamber to enhance accuracy. Moreover, it is a compact unit and weighs 7.2 ounces increasing the portability. It also happens to be somewhat easy to control as it features three buttons which you use to toggle between the various readings.
You will also appreciate how durable this unit is. It’s been drop-tested to meet military standards and features a lanyard to prevent accidental falls. As for the measurements, you can use the Kestrel 3000 to read wind chill, humidity, maximum, average, and current wind speed, heat stress index, and dew point. Our best features though were the extra fire prediction features and waterproof housing.
Waterproof – Seeing as it holds an IP67 waterproof rating, you can use the Kestrel 3000 to measure water temperature and use it in the snow.
Fire prediction features – With the PIG screen and FDFM screen, Kestrel has taken fire prediction to another level. The former gives you the probability of ignition, while the later gives the fine dead fuel moisture.
Weight: 7.2 ounces
Dimensions: 1.9 * 0.4 * 0.8 inches
Includes a neck lanyard
Who is it for?
We recommend the Kestrel 3000 for mountain climbers and firefighters.
Despite being expensive, it is worth it
It includes a backlight which is quite handy in low light conditions
The impeller is replaceable should it be damaged
Has a data hold function
It is a pricey unit
It takes a while to learn all the controls, though it is simple enough to use once you have figured out all the controls
6. RockyMars RA30
Furthermore, you can use this to measure the wind chill, but only when the temperature is below 0®, C and wind speed is above 5m/s.
Other exciting features about this unit were the low battery indicator; the data hold function when taking readings in spaces where you can’t see the display, and the backlit screen. The backlit display is exceptional for low light areas.
Sampling speed – The sampling speed of the RA30 gives it an edge over the other units. It takes two readings per second resulting in more accurate results compared to the other options.
APO and MPO – To save batteries, the Rocky Mars has an auto power off, that shuts down the unit after a period of inactivity. This is especially useful for those instances where you might forget to turn it off. However, you can change to the manual power on (MPO), for continuous use.
Takes speed readings in 5 units.
Weight: 5.6 ounces
Dimensions: 8.5 * 4.4 * 1.4 inches
Speed range: 0-30m/s
Who is it for?
We recommend this tool for educational purposes and for hobbyists but not professionals owing to the 5% possibility of it being inaccurate.
The readings are accurate for hobbyists and educational purposes
It is quick and easy to use
Incorporates a hold function when taking readings in areas where you can’t see the display
Lightweight and portable
It cannot detect wind chill unless the temperature is below 0®C
7. Extech 45158
Moreover, it includes a lanyard for safety and also features a replaceable plastic wind vane should it sustain damage. It also happens to be easy to use with the large LCD that has a primary and secondary display. Our top features though were the design, and that it is waterproof.
Design – First, this unit is lightweight at 4.8 ounces and thus portable. Moreover, it is compact at 5.5 * 2.8 * 0.8 inches which further enhances the portability. Furthermore, is easy to use as it only requires a flick to open it. The case extends to give you a longer reach at 9-inches. The unit will fold back into its case for convenient storage.
Waterproof – The housing of the Extech 45158 is not only durable, but also design to withstand water. Moreover, the unit will float on water in the event of an accidental submersion so that retrieval is a walk in the pack.
Speed range: 100 to 5,500 ft/min
Dew point: 32®F to 122®F
Weight: 4.8 ounces
Who is it for?
We recommend the Extech 45158 for sailors and people who want to monitor humidity, especially in storage areas. Thanks to its humidity feature, you can check the moisture levels and ensure the best conditions for different materials. The floating aspect makes it ideal for sailors.
The flipping case design gives you a better reach but ensures the unit is compact for storage
Water resistant housing increases the versatility
Has accurate readings, and the wind speed can pick up almost anything
It happens to be pricey and doesn’t incorporate standard max and min functions
8. Kestrel 5500
Another remarkable feature is the logging feature that allows you to log 10,000 sets of time-stamped data. Moreover, this is an anemometer/weather meter that is built to last as it is waterproof, dust-proof, and drop-proof. You can use it in the most extreme conditions without sustaining any damage. The kestrel 5500 incorporates various carry pouches and includes a neck lanyard should you drop it. However, you get the most out of this unit with the LiNK app and vane mount.
Vane mount – One you add the vane mount, the 5500 becomes a complete weather station. The precision pivot coupled with the vane ensure that the Kestrel is oriented with the wind always. Therefore you get consistent and accurate results of speed and wind direction.
LiNK app – Thanks to the LiNK wireless communications, you can connect this unit to your phone through the LiNK app. The app allows you to connect to environmental data, set limits to get notified in the event of unsafe conditions, monitor patterns, and even share reports with clients and partners.
Waterproof and floats
MIL-STD-810G drop tested
14 total meteorological parameters
Who is it for?
We recommend this tool for professionals owing to the high price point and the data it provides. Storm chasers, firefighters, and weather forecasters would especially benefit from having this gadget.
Rugged, water-resistant and built to last
It is tech friendly and user-friendly
It will keep you safe as it monitors patterns and forecasts future issues
It is designed to log data at 100’ keeping you safe
It is pricey
9. Ambient Weather WM-5
At 3.6 ounces, it is one of the lightest units on this list and is easy to carry on excursions or when sailing. For safety, it is a rugged option and one that can withstand falls. It also incorporates a screw port where you can attach a lanyard or a tripod stand. You will also appreciate that it is waterproof up to 4” of water and floats in the event of an accidental submersion. The battery has a 400hr life which should last for the entire life of the unit. You will need at most two batteries.
The Ambient Weather WM-5 can record wind speeds up to 87 miles per hour, higher than most anemometers on this guide. Our best features though were the handle, and bar graph.
Bar graph – The WM-5 provides not only hyperlocal data but also a 16-hr history of the weather in your local. This enables you to plan for any future activities.
Handle – With the flip handle that also doubles as a case, you will have a longer reach, and it will keep your anemometer ever safe.
Wind speed: up to 87 miles per hour
Weight: 3.6 ounces
Dimensions: 7.9 * 3.2 * 2 inches
Who is it for?
We recommend this unit for sailors and mountaineering. They are lightweight and compact and a breeze to carry.
It is packed with features increasing the range of applications where you can use the unit
One fancy feature is the ability to track changes over time as it assists with planning
It is lightweight and thus will not weigh you down
Happens to be pricey, and readings for relative humidity are inaccurate
10. HOLDPEAK 866B-APP
The Holdpeak 866B allows you to track wind speed, temperature and wind chill. Wind chill is displayed where the temperature is and should be the same as the temperature if the wind speed is 0mph. It can read speeds up to 67mph and is accurate to 0.1dgts. It incorporates a screw port where you can attach a lanyard and has a carrying pack that will fit in your backpack or rucksack. It weighs 5.6 ounces and thus it is easy to carry.
Low battery indicator – To save you those nasty surprises when out in nature, the Holdpeak 866B incorporates a low battery indicator so that you are ever prepared.
MPO/APO – For energy efficiency, you can put the unit on auto power mode so that it shuts down after a period of inactivity. However, it also allows continuous use with the manual power mode.
Weight: 5.6 ounces
Dimensions: 6.5 * 3.4 * 1.5 inches
Wind speed: 0.3 – 30m/s
Accurate to 0.1dgts
Who is it for?
We recommend this for kite-flying and shooting activities and educational purposes if you want to rely on the app.
It is affordable, and you are getting top value for your money
Has better data visualization thanks to the app
The unit is accurate and is built to last
The power button gets depressed easily and can drain the batteries rather fast
There are two types of anemometers, and each has its pros and cons. First, determine your budget and where you plan to use the gadget as these will influence the device that is best for you. First, we have the weather station anemometers. These units are equipped with cups that spin when they catch air and give an accurate reading after multiplying the number of rotations by four. However, they are pricey, and though they can be set up on a console, they are designed to be mounted on a pole.
Other than the weather station devices, there are digital anemometers and differ in price depending on the features. Most digital anemometers are handheld and are lightweight and easily portable for outdoor activities. Moreover, they are easy to read as they are digital units. These appliances use a small fan that rotates when it catches a gust of air.
When investing in an anemometer, you should know how you will use it. If it’s for research purposes, we recommend you purchase in a weather station unit as it is more reliable and accurate.
However, for other activities such as sailing, kite flying, backpacking, etc., we recommend the digital units as they are easy to read, can provide more information, and are portable.
Range and battery power
The range of digital devices vary, and often you have to pay more for longer ranges. However, the range is vital for activities such as sport shooting where you want to measure the velocity at the target. Experts suggest you get a gadget with a range of 5,000 feet as then you don’t have to stand in the gust of wind to get accurate results.
As for power, most anemometers are battery-powered, and you will have to change the battery at least once in the life of the tool. However, look for units that have a power saving mode, and include indicator lights for when the batteries are almost out. S
Though anemometers are designed to measure speed, digital units can do more. However, these additional features will cost you extra. For outdoor enthusiasts, we recommend you pick a device that can measure temperature and wind chill. Firefighters, on the other hand, will appreciate one that can measure temperature and humidity.
Moreover, a unit with properly marked buttons is always valued and more so if there are several functions. Finally, digital units have protective tops to guard the digital display.
How do they work?
Anemometers measure wind speed using the mathematical relationship between the speed and current. These tools function like wind turbines only that their rotor blades rotate at a much faster rate.
The blades rotate a generator which produces an electric current that is now used to calculate the speed.
Can I replace an impeller or a broken sensor?
Well, this depends on the unit. Replacing a broken impeller is much easier on pricey units, and some do allow you to repair a broken sensor. However, the same cannot be said of lower cost units. Often you will have to replace the anemometer due to lack of parts or the manufacturers do not allow repairs.
How accurate is an anemometer?
Again, this depends on the unit you invest in. As a rule, anemometers are accurate between 1% and 5% and the price increases with an increase in accuracy.
We recommend units with a 1% accuracy for professionals and others in high-risk environments where precision could save one from grave injuries, and tools with a 5% accuracy are for amateurs and hobbyists.
How long will the batteries last?
Battery life depends on the usage of the unit. Nevertheless, you can expect it to last about 300 hours of continuous use as has been reported by users and professionals. However, we recommend you get an anemometer with auto power off as it will save your battery.
The areas where an anemometer can come in handy are endless but are mostly used in weather stations to predict weather changes. However, there are fields and activities where having hyperlocal weather data is helpful. Sailors, hikers, backpackers, mountaineers, etc., should have an anemometer as an essential requirement.
Though we cannot help you pick a device, the guide above should make it easier. Finally, if you feel there is something we missed, please let us know in the comments below.